• Daniel Wretham

Landscape Photography Blog, August 2021

After the disaster that was July I was hoping for some better luck in August.

Traditionally August can be a bit hit or miss so I wasn't holding my breath but it did start in a fairly positive way as one of my pictures appeared on the front cover of Dorset Life Magazine which is always such am amazing feeling.

Dorset Landscape Photographer

A big shout to the team at Dorset Life Magazine for still paying photographers for their work and not claiming poverty and no ability to pay like so many other magazines.


The weather in July had been so up and down it was ridiculous but August looked to be shaping up nicely with a bit of mist forecast in the first few days.

I felt I needed a win badly so decided to go to Corfe Castle one morning before work when the mist was scheduled, I've shot it to death but sometimes you just need to go take an easy shot to get the enthusiasm flowing again and Corfe castle was perfect for this.


I arrived around an hour before sunrise and made the trek up the hill and was pleased to see some nice mist swirling around the base of the castle, finally I thought I was going to nail a shot !

Famous last words eh ? While the blue hour gave some nice mist I needed more light and decided to wait until the perfect amount was present, this was mistake one.

The mist suddenly changed from gorgeous low hanging, swirling gorgeousness to thick fog in a matter of minutes, it will clear I told myself.


That was mistake two ! It hung around for over an hour and my time was up as I had to leave in order to get to work on time.

August had bit me in the backside already and I was not amused !!

The fog made it unshootable really and covered everything in a dense vapour layer, I waited and waited as did everyone else on West hill hoping to have a small break in it to nail a shot but it just never came and I went home once again wondering why I was on such a huge run of bad luck.

Corfe Village
Mist at Corfe Village Church
Corfe Village Mist
Sunrise at Corfe Village

August managed to produce another miracle in the shape of some red poppies that sprung up out of nowhere.

Usually poppies flower in late June and early July but Dorset had been strangely void of them this year, no matter where I looked there were no decent fields in Dorset, just the odd clump and I had written off poppy season by mid July so to see some suddenly spring up in August was a shock to say the least ! but a very pleasant one.


Essentially the poppies had flowered in an Opium poppy field which was being grown for the pharmaceutical industry and as usual, nature had found a way and the red more common poppy grew and took over the whole field and looked stunning.


The main problem with this field was it was quite visible and I knew others would find it soon enough so I tried to get on it early and kept getting poor conditions but eventually one evening I got some reasonable light for a while and got a few pictures, but what always seemed to happen was as soon as it got to sunset the sky would cloud over with thick grey clouds and ruin the final shot, this happened multiple times.


I tried several times to get the shot I wanted from this field but word had got out and it was under siege from Dorset landscape photographers all keen to get their shot so I started to avoid the area but it just wouldn't leave my mind.

Poppy Field
The best I managed but not a keeper

Eventually I decided that sunrise there would be my best chance to get a few pictures without being surrounded by dozens of others so I waited patiently for a suitable forecast to give me the conditions I wanted.


Ideally I would have mist and a decent colourful sunrise, I mean that's what I wanted but not what I got !

Finally conditions looked like it might happen and not a moment too soon as the poppies were absolutely on the turn and only had a day or so left in them.

I arrived and it was cloudier than Id have liked, but there was some mist swirling around and I quickly set up the gear ready full of excitement and expectation.


The cloud was thick but there was a gap where the sun was coming up and true to form it started getting small bit of colour on it around 30 minutes before sunrise, here we go I thought ! We're on !

Almost as soon as I thought it the colour faded and the mist started to move away, I did take a few pictures but ultimately didn't finish up with anything I was happy with and with time ticking away I had to once again leave as I needed to get to work.


I just couldn't catch a break and was really struggling to make myself keep going after non stop failures, it was crushing my spirit big time.


I won't bore you too much but I made a further 4 trips to the poppy field and while I got some ok pictures there was nothing stunning, conditions just weren't there and mother nature was having great laugh at my expense but I wasn't going to give up, I was more determined than ever to get a decent shoot under my belt.


Again I don't want to make you bored by reading the same thing over again but the next 4 trips out I made were exceptionally lacklustre and no decent images came of them.

The weather had a habit of looking amazing all day until I finished work, raced to the location and then promptly watched it go clear every time, I could have screamed ! and probably did several times.


I can't emphasise enough the amount of effort that was going into these shoots and the fact it was beyond my control with the weather made it all the more crushing to have such run of bad luck that I simply couldn't do anything about.


Hoping that September will be a better month and bring much needed better conditions.


This months print of the month is Pier Pressure, grab yourself a bargain by clicking HERE



Bournemouth Pier



As always, Happy shooting

Daniel Wretham